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Healthy Living Tips

Having a healthy living plan consists of a few different areas to focus on.  Among these are proper nutrition, physical activity and creating a safe home.  Here are some tips for these different areas of emphasis.

GOOD NUTRITION

The sense of taste and thirst weakens with age, so boost the flavor profile of meals with lemon juice, herbs and spices. Bump up the appeal further by creating plates of various colored foods prepared with crispy-to-creamy textures.  And keep plenty of water and fresh fruits and vegetables readily available all day.

The Nutrients List

Make sure these are in the plan:

  • Calcium and vitamin D for bone health
  • Vitamin B-12 for healthy metabolism, blood cells, bones and nerves
  • Potassium to reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  • Fiber to control weight gain and lower risks of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes

As a bonus, below is a healthy snack recipe from the American Heart Association for you to try.

Frozen Yogurt Bark

  • 1-1/2 cups low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, unsalted nuts
  • 1/2 cup peeled, finely chopped mango
  • 1/4 cup blackberries or raspberries, chopped if large*
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  1. Mix yogurt and honey/syrup in a medium bowl.
  2. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Spread yogurt mixture thinly over the entire bottom of the dish.
  3. Add nuts and fruit on top, slightly pressing down into the yogurt.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and freeze overnight.
  5. Once frozen, lift out of the baking dish. Break bark into pieces by using your hands or gently banging onto a cutting board.
  6. Keep bark wrapped in parchment paper and sealed in a large baggie in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Note: The bark melts quickly, so enjoy your snack within a few minutes of taking it out of the freezer.

*Add or substitute your favorite fruits or nuts.

PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

By being physically active, seniors can lower their mortality rates, raise their cognitive and functional health, and reduce their risks of heart disease and

Type 2 diabetes. Here are four ideas to help you get them moving:

  • Keep it fun with activities they like doing.
  • Take it easy with low-impact exercise.
  • Build strength with simple regimens of weight lifting or resistance training.
  • Rediscover the joy of fresh air and sunshine.

Brains Need Activity, Too

A healthy brain aids motor control, interpretation of and responses to emotions, and how well the body senses function. A sensible plan for brain health is simple:

  • Keep connected. Encourage socialization, group activities and volunteerism.
  • Keep moving. Consider yoga, gardening, tai chi or even a brisk walk.
  • Keep learning. Learn a new skill, try a language, take a class, or find creative expression through art or writing.

 SAFE HOME

Prevent falls and increase the safety of the home environment by eliminating tripping hazards, upgrading lighting and paying attention to:

  • Floors. Eliminate loose rugs, clutter, and wires and cords, and organize furniture for easy navigation.
  • Stairways. Are they stable and secure, and are handrails in place?
  • Common areas. Stow away the cleaning materials. Add proper lighting. Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are operating correctly. And keep remote controls and kitchen utensils within easy reach.
  • Bathroom. Reduce or eliminate slippery surfaces, install grab bars, and upgrade to hands-free faucets.
  • Bedroom. Is it on the main floor, and are drawers and closets easily accessible? Is a phone or intercom system needed?
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